Employer’s obligation to inform about all significant conditions

Date 9 dec. 2010

 

The Western Division of the Danish High Court (the “High Court”) has in U 2010.3095V determined that even though an employment has been terminated before the end of one month’s employment, the employer’s obligation to inform the employee of all significant conditions does not lapse, unless it was originally agreed that the employment was of a short duration.

 

Employment contracts in general

According to The Danish Act on Employment Contracts (“DAEC”), the employer must inform the employee on all significant terms for the employment.


The information should as a minimum include information listed in DAEC Section 2(2)(1-10). This information includes:


  1. The employer’s and the employee’s name and address.
  2. The location of the employment or in lack of a regular location or a location where the work is primarily performed, information that the employee performs the work in different locations, and information on the employer’s registered office or the employer’s address.
  3. Description of the employee’s duties or indication of the employee’s title, rank, position or the job category.
  4. Date of the employment’s commencement.
  5. The employment’s expected duration, when the employment is not of indefinite duration.
  6. The employee’s rights as regards paid holidays, including if salary is paid during vacation.
  7. The duration of the employer’s and the employee’s notice of termination or the regulation regarding this matter.
  8. The agreed salary to which the employee is entitled when commencing the employment, including bonuses or other benefits that are not contained therein, e.g. pensions and/or board and lodging. Furthermore, information on the payment due dates must be given.
  9. The normal daily or weekly working hours.
  10. Indication of the collective agreements or agreements that regulate the employment. In case of collective agreements or agreements reached by parties outside the company, it should also be stated who these parties are.

The abovementioned information must be given no later than one month after the employment has commenced.


If the information obligation is not respected, the employee may be granted compensation by the courts. As a main rule, the compensation cannot exceed 13 weeks salary, unless there are aggravating circumstances under which the compensation can constitute up to 20 weeks salary.  


However, the compensation cannot exceed more than DKK 1,000 if the non-conformity is excusable and has not affected the employment.


The facts of the dispute

In the abovementioned dispute the employee ”LM” began working as a chef with the employer “AG”


On 15 June 2009, LM had received an employment contract that did not contain information regarding the notice of termination.


When commencing the employment, the intention was not for the employment to be of a short duration, however, the employment ceased before the end of June 2009.


After the termination of the employment, LM sued AG requiring compensation for a faulty employment contract.


Ruling of the court

The city court discharged AG. The reason for discharge was that if the employment had not ceased before the period for providing information had expired, AG could have issued a new employment contract which had been the intention according to AG’s testimony before the court.


The High Court reached the opposite ruling.


The argumentation for this was that an employer’s obligation to send an employment contract providing sufficient information according to DAEC does not lapse even though the employment has been terminated before the period for providing information has expired.


The compensation was assessed to DKK 5,000 considering the length of the employment.


Consequences of the ruling

Based on the ruling, it can be concluded that the employer’s obligation to send an employment contract containing the necessary information to the employee does not lapse if the employment is terminated before the period for providing the information expires – regardless if the original intention was for the employment to last longer than one month.



If you have questions regarding the above or require additional information about employment contracts and/or compensation according to the Danish Act on Employment Contracts, please contact Attorney Thomas Weitemeyer (twe@mwblaw.dk) or Junior Associate Tim Rosenkrantz Buur (tbu@mwblaw.dk).


The above does not constitute legal counseling and Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen does not warrant the accuracy of the information. With the above text, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen has not assumed responsibility of any kind as a consequence of a reader’s use of the above as a basis of decisions of considerations.